April 9 News: 70% Less California Wine Due To Warming Vineyards?

Red indicates unsuitable for wine-growing by 2050. Blue indicates new areas potentially suitable by 2050.

New research indicates that the world’s most productive wine-growing regions will be hit hard from the increased temperatures this century. [Guardian]

Wine experts have known for several years that a hotter, drier climate would change growing conditions in many of the most prized wine regions – forcing vineyards to mist grapes on the vine to protect them from the sun, or move sensitive vines to more hospitable terrain.

But the latest findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, still took the researchers by surprise. “We expected to see significant shifts, but we didn’t expect to see shifts like these,” said Hannah.

The scientists used 17 different climate models to gauge the effects on nine major wine-producing areas. They used two different climate futures for 2050, one assuming a worst-case scenario with a 4.7C (8.5F) warming, the other a 2.5C increase.

Both forecast a radical re-ordering of the wine world. The most drastic decline was expected in Europe, where the scientists found a 85% decrease in production in Bordeaux, Rhone and Tuscany.

The future was also bleak for wine growing areas of Australia, with a 74% drop, and California, with a 70% fall.

Wine growers in the Cape area of South Africa would also be hit hard, with a 55% decline. Chile’s wine producers would expect losses of about 40%, the study found.

Ernest Moniz faces the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today, taking questions on his suitability to be the next Secretary of Energy. [The Hill]

Former Governor Schwarzenegger writes on the impacts California faces from global warning, and calls for a bipartisan effort to do something about it. [LA Times]

Russian energy company Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell are ignoring, well, everything, and have agreed to jointly develop offshore Arctic oil fields. [Washington Post]

Most of the coal industry is at risk from “cheap” natural gas and air pollution laws. [Washington Post]

Air pollution leads to increased risk of birth defects. [New York Times]

Scientists predict that flights will become more turbulent as climate change causes increased high altitude wind speed and instability. [BBC]

Amtrak had its best ridership month ever in March. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

More people are becoming more concerned about climate change. [Washington Post]

Could an obscure law signed by President Reagan intended to encourage smart development on our nation’s coasts help stem the costs of sea level rise? [New York Times]

Some new research is pointing to a connection between dangerous thunderstorms and global warming. [Washington Post, Atlantic Cities]

Pakistan is particularly threatened by melting glaciers, extreme heat, and rising sea levels. [Times of India]

China announced a 41 percent jump in 2012 wind energy production. [Climate Group]

100 percent renewable energy in Australia by 2030? Some scientists say it’s possible with a well-structured carbon tax. [Wired.UK]

2 Responses to April 9 News: 70% Less California Wine Due To Warming Vineyards?

  1. Andy says:

    Problem is congress hands out Coastal Barrier Resource Act exemptions like candy on Halloween.

  2. Merrelyn Emery says:

    We don’t have to do laboratory experiments on wine, we already have the natural experiment. It is with a heavy heart that I tell you the Aussie ocean of good cheap wine is evaporating fast. Friends of mine have stopped growing because they never get a good year anymore, ME